12-Page Complaint Puts Topeka Zoo License At Stake

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- Several accusations against the Topeka Zoo just came to light, that could put its USDA exhibitor's license at stake.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has filed a complaint in court, saying the zoo willfully violated the Animal Welfare Act.

The complaint comes from zoo inspections between 2007 and 2011 that produced evidence of the deaths of at least nine young animals, including three flying foxes, an anteater, a lion, a Pallas's cat, rabbit, antelope and a mouse-deer.

The 12-page complaint says Topeka Zoo employees were non-compliant with regulations and standards, that they failed to handle the animals as carefully as possible, and that they kept incompatible animals in the same enclosure.

Zoo officials and Interim City Manager Dan Stanley said in a news conference on Wednesday that the complaint paints a very disturbing picture of the operation, management, and training of personnel during a troubling period of zoo operations.

Zoo officials plan to file a formal response to the Department of Agriculture.